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PRT to open season with ‘Putnam County Spelling Bee’


Brookings, S.D. (KELO AM) - S-P-E-L-L-I-N-G. It’s time to brush up on vocabulary because Prairie Repertory Theatre is opening its season with quirky musical “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee." The show is intended for audiences age 12 and older and will be held in South Dakota State University’s Doner Auditorium in the Administration Building. Performances begin at 7:30 p.m. June 11 and run nightly through June 14, with a 2 p.m. matinee June 15.  The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” will also show in Brandon in July.

“The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” follows six awkward-yet-hopeful adolescents as they compete for the spelling championship, supervised by equally awkward and eccentric adult moderators and a couple of overbearing parents.

“This is an especially outstanding cast. They have amazing vocal talents and awesome comedic timing. It has been a particular pleasure to work with this group in the process of putting this show together,” said director J. D. Ackman.

The spellers are Chip Tolentino, last year’s champion, played by Steven Marienau of Hawarden, Iowa; Logainne Schwartzandgrubenierre, the youngest and most politically savvy speller, played by Katelynn Stoss of Hutchinson, Kan.; Leaf Coneybear, played by Carter Allen of Cedar Falls, Iowa, who placed second runner-up in his own district but is able to compete since the winner and first runner-up had a Bat Mitzvah conflict; William Barfee, eliminated from the previous year’s competition due to an unfortunate allergic reaction, played by Devin Basart of Sioux Falls, S.D.; Marcy Park, an overachiever who fluently speaks six languages and sleeps only three hours a night, played by Sadie Jensen of Harrisburg, S.D., and Olive Ostrovsky, a newcomer to the world of competitive spelling, played by Natalie Allcock of Britton, S.D.Blake Farber, Britton, S.D., plays vice principal Douglas Panch, while Bridgette Karl of St. Louis Park, Minn., and Jordan Wolfe of East Grand Forks, Minn., portray parents. In a unique twist, patrons will have the opportunity to volunteer to put their spelling skills to the test on stage alongside the actors. 

“PRT is especially pleased to be presenting this production for the first time. It has the added fun of audience members being selected to participate by becoming ‘contestants’ in the spelling bee,” said Ackman. Tickets are $20 for adult patrons, $18 for senior citizens and military personnel, $14 for SDSU employees, $13 for students and children and free of charge for SDSU students. Tickets may be purchased from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday at the SDSU Performing Arts Center Audience Services Office, by calling 605-688-6045 or by visiting Prairie Rep's website.